An HSA (Health Savings Account) is a tax-advantaged savings account that can be used to pay for qualified medical expenses. However, it can also be used as a retirement savings vehicle. Here are some tips on how to save for retirement through an HSA:
- One of the main qualifiers for being allowed to contribute to an HSA is being enrolled in a high deductible health plan. You also can’t be enrolled in Medicare or be claimed as someone else’s dependent.
- Contribute as much as you can: The IRS sets annual contribution limits for HSAs, so make sure you are contributing the maximum amount allowed. For 2023, the contribution limit for an individual is $3,850 and for a family is $7,750. If you are age 55 or older, you can make an additional catch-up contribution of $1,000 per year.
- Invest your HSA funds: Most HSAs allow you to invest your funds in mutual funds or other investment options, just like a 401(k) or IRA. By investing your HSA funds, you can potentially earn more over the long-term rather than just having the money sit in cash.
- Leave your HSA funds untouched: To maximize the tax benefits of an HSA, it's best to leave your funds in the account and use them for medical expenses in retirement, or many years down the road. You can withdraw funds tax-free for qualified medical expenses at any time. However, if you withdraw funds for non-medical expenses before age 65, you will be subject to income tax and a 20% penalty.
- Use your HSA to supplement retirement income: Once you reach age 65, you can withdraw funds from your HSA for non-medical expenses without penalty, although you will still owe income tax on the withdrawal. You can use these funds to supplement your retirement income or cover expenses that are not covered by Medicare or other retirement benefits.
Overall, an HSA can be a great way to save for retirement, especially if you are in good health and do not anticipate high medical expenses in the near future. However, it's important to consult with a financial advisor or tax professional to determine the best strategy for your individual situation.